Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch
LA Police Protective League


Los Angeles
Police Protective League
the union that represents the
rank and file LAPD officers

  Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch

Daily News Digest
from LA Police Protective League

May 13, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Homeless Person Burned In Attack Near Lincoln Park, Source Says
A homeless person was burned after a flammable liquid was thrown at them near a Lincoln Park encampment Wednesday, a law enforcement official told The Times. Los Angeles police officers responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon in the 3500 block of East Valley Boulevard about 2 p.m., said Officer William Cooper, an LAPD spokesman. Cooper said a witness told police that someone threw a flammable liquid on the victim. One person was detained at the scene, but they have yet to be formally booked, Cooper said. The victim was taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries. Cooper did not know what prompted the alleged attack. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Times that the altercation broke out around an encampment near Lincoln Park. The victim, who is homeless, suffered burns and is in serious condition but is expected to survive, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss the case candidly. It was unclear whether the alleged attacker was also homeless. While some people sleep in tents in Lincoln Park, others who live near the park stay in cars or recreational vehicles along Valley Boulevard.
Yahoo! News

A Rising Rapper, An Ill-Fated Instagram Post And A Killing In The Hollywood Hills
At 2 a.m., a black BMW rolled past a house the rapper Pop Smoke was renting in the Hollywood Hills. The driver circled back and stopped. A security camera across the street captured a passenger getting out and sneaking toward the back of the house before returning a minute later. The car sped off. The budding rap star was a few miles away at a recording studio on Sunset Boulevard. He returned two hours later and again a car pulled up — an Infiniti sedan with its headlights off. This time, four people emerged and slipped into the shadows along the side of the house. Ten minutes later, three of them ran back into the camera's frame. The footage showed the fourth walk out the front door holding a purse and a gun. Inside, the musician lay sprawled at the foot of a staircase, dying from a gunshot wound to the chest. The death of Pop Smoke, whose real name was Bashar Barakah Jackson, stunned the music world in February of last year. Now, details of the slaying and how detectives tracked his alleged killers have come to light. In court last week, LAPD detectives described a home invasion they allege spiraled quickly into murder. A heist conceived by teenagers, the crime was as brazen as it was pointless — a killing that robbed the rap world of one of its brightest young artists, while netting the alleged killers a watch they sold for just $2,000. Dead at 20, Jackson would not know the breadth of the critical acclaim and commercial success his music received after he was gone.
Los Angeles Times

Armed Suspect Barricades Himself In North Hollywood Home
A man holding two knives barricaded himself in a home in North Hollywood Wednesday night, the LAPD said. It happened around 10 p.m. on Alcove Avenue. Officers said a man not wearing a shirt and holding a pair of knives forced his way into a home and refused to come out. The residents of the home got out safely as police tried to get the man out of the home. As of 10:20 p.m. the suspect was still barricaded in the home.

Police Searching For Driver Who Injured Bicyclist In South LA Hit-and-Run
Police on Wednesday circulated video and photos of a hit-and-run that left a bicyclist critically injured in South Los Angeles and asked for the public's assistance to identify the driver. The collision occurred at about 6:55 p.m. Monday when the driver of a maroon Kia Optima traveling eastbound on Florence Avenue turned right onto Flower Street and struck a man riding his bicycle in the crosswalk, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement. The driver of the Optima failed to stop and continued southbound on Flower Street. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics arrived at the scene and took the man to a hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. Anyone with information about the collision is asked to contact Detective Ramirez of the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323-421-2500. Calls made during non-business hours or on weekends can be directed to 877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
FOX 11

Gunfire Report In Fairfax District Determined To Be ‘Swatting' Call, LAPD Says
Police determined that a report of shots fired in the Fairfax District was a swatting call and cleared the scene Wednesday evening. A large police presence had responded to the area just after 7 p.m. following a report of shots fired. They said a manager of an apartment building in the area of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard reported gunshots in the area. There were also reports of an armed person threatening to shoot others. The LAPD shut down part of the neighborhood and searched for the suspect. The location is near the CBS Television City complex and about a block away from The Grove and the Original Farmers Market. After a thorough search, police determined the call was unfounded, tweeting, "We determined this was a 'swatting' incident which clearly tied up critical public safety resources, but due to the nature (an alleged shooting) had to be thoroughly investigated. We appreciated the public's patience."

Ben Affleck's Los Angeles Mansion Intruder Accidentally Photographed Climbing Over Fence By Paparazzi
A man who entered Ben Affleck's multimillion property in Los Angeles without permission was accidentally captured on camera by the paparazzi. A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson revealed to Page Six Wednesday that the still unidentified man was accidentally photographed by the paparazzi who were hoping to get snaps of Jennifer Lopez, 51, as the singer-actress has been making the headlines recently after reuniting with the 48-year-old actor. The paparazzi reportedly stationed outside of the Pacific Palisades mansion of the “Batman v Superman” star in hopes of getting a glimpse of Lopez. They were taking photos and video of the facade of the property when the intruder, who was wearing black pants, a dark jacket, blue shoes, a black hat and face mask, emerged out of the blue. In the footage that was shared with the outlet, the intruder is seen climbing over the property's fence and looking around suspiciously after making a quiet landing on the ground. He is then spotted casually getting on a bicycle before fleeing the scene. Cops said the intruder posed as a security guard before entering Affleck's property. He allegedly scaled the perimeter gate of the mansion at around 8 a.m. that day. The paparazzi quickly alerted the police after catching the intruder in the act. 
IB Times

Authorities Seek Suspects In Culver City Drive-By Shooting
Police Wednesday were searching for suspects who drove through a Culver City neighborhood and shot at multiple residences. Officers responded to a residence in the 5200 block of Slauson Avenue at about 11:25 a.m. to investigate reports of bullet holes that were found in the home's garage and interior walls, according to the Culver City Police Department. Officers and detectives located two other residences that had been damaged by gunfire and spoke with witnesses who said a light-colored newer model sedan drove through the area between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Monday and fired multiple gunshots at the homes. Police searched for potential gunshot victims, but found none. An investigation into the shooting was ongoing and anyone with information was asked to call Assistant Chief Jason Sims at 310-253-6391.

3 Arrested After $500,000 Watch Is Stolen Off The Wrist Of Beverly Hills Restaurant Patron
Three alleged gang members were arrested in the armed robbery of a man's $500,000 watch while he was eating lunch outdoors at an Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills, authorities said Wednesday. A woman was shot in the leg during a struggle over the gun used in the March 4 holdup at Il Pastaio on Canon Drive. The three suspects, who were arrested Tuesday, were members of the Rollin' 30s Crips, a South Los Angeles street gang, authorities said. Malik Lamont Powell, 20, Khai McGhee, 18, and Marquise Anthony Gardon, 30, each face up to 20 years in prison on a federal charge of conspiracy to commit robbery. Two other suspects remain at large. Police have not yet found the rare wristwatch the men are accused of stealing: a rose-gold Richard Mille RM 11-03 Flyback Chronograph, which is popular with celebrities. Surveillance video shows the suspects scouting the area around the restaurant before the robbery, according to a court statement by FBI agent Michael Fukuda. Three of the suspects were wearing hoods when they reached the crowded sidewalk terrace where jeweler Shay Belhassen was eating lunch just after 2 p.m. One of them, Fukuda said, put a gun to Belhassen's head and told him: “Give it to me.” Two others yanked Belhassen's watch from his wrist.
Los Angeles Times

Man Pleads Guilty In Series Of Southern California Trader Joe's Robberies
A Huntington Park man pleaded guilty Wednesday to carrying out more than a dozen robberies of Trader Joe's stores throughout Southern California during a four-month crime spree last year. Gregory Johnson, 43, admitted federal counts of interference of commerce by robbery and using a firearm in a crime of violence, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Johnson faces between seven years and life in federal prison, with sentencing set for Aug. 2. The defendant admitted that from last Aug. 28 to Dec. 4, he robbed Trader Joe's stores in Eagle Rock, Sherman Oaks, Chatsworth, Pasadena, Culver City, Rancho Palos Verdes, Agoura Hills, Brea, Santa Ana, Tustin and Chino Hills, and attempted to rob locations in Simi Valley and Corona. During many of the robberies, Johnson brandished a handgun. On two occasions, he robbed stores in Rancho Palos Verdes and Brea, and returned weeks later to rob them again. Johnson and his son, Gregory E. Johnson, were arrested following the Chino Hills robbery on Dec. 4, after a witness gave authorities a description of their getaway vehicle and license plate.
Los Angeles Daily News

SoCal Man Accused Of Using Coronavirus Relief Loans To Buy Ferrari, Bentley And Lamborghini
A Southern California man has pleaded not guilty to charges he obtained $5 million in federal coronavirus-relief loans for phony businesses and then used the money for lavish vacations and to buy a Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini, prosecutors said Monday. Mustafa Qadiri, 38, was arrested last week on suspicion of scheming to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program, which was implemented last year to help small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Qadiri, of Irvine, pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple charges including bank fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Qadiri's attorney, Bilal A. Essayli, declined further comment Monday. Prosecutors said Qadiri submitted fraudulent PPP loan applications to three banks on behalf of four companies that didn't actually exist — All American Lending, Inc., All American Capital Holdings, Inc., RadMediaLab, Inc., and Ad Blot, Inc, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. The applications included altered bank records, fake tax returns and false information about employees, according to the indictment. Qadiri also used someone else's name, Social Security number and signature to fraudulently apply for one of the loans, prosecutors said.

Over 12 Cars Hit By BB Or Pellet Guns On Southern California Freeways In 2 Weeks
Over 12 cars have been hit by BB or pellet guns on Southern California freeways over the last two weeks and the California Highway Patrol is stepping up their investigation. The CHP has sent a mobile task unit out to yet another driver who had his window shot at and shattered on the 91 Freeway in Riverside Tuesday evening just before 6 p.m. Another victim was 37 miles down the 91, off the 105 Freeway in Bellflower. A tour bus driver reported having three of his windows shot out while he was transporting people. There have been over a dozen similar cases in just a few weeks on freeways in LA, Orange County, and the Imperial Empire. The CHP now says they are looking at Caltrans traffic cameras that line most of the 91 Freeway trying to stop the shooter before someone gets hurt. “It could be a group of individuals. They could be switching cars,” said Juan Quintero of the Riverside CHP. “Or they could be sitting, waiting for somebody to drive by.”

New US Bill Raises Criminal Penalties For Harming Federal Public Safety Personnel
Congressmen from Nebraska and Ohio have introduced a bill that aims to increase protections for certain public safety personnel and U.S. judges. The Back the Blue Act – sponsored by Reps. Don Bacon (Neb.), Bill Johnson (Ohio) and Steve Stivers (Ohio) – raises the criminal penalties for harming federally funded law enforcement members, firefighters, chaplains, rescue teams, ambulance crews or U.S. judges. The bill would carry a minimum mandatory sentence of 30 years for killing a member of one of those groups and 10 years for attempted murder, Bacon's office announced Tuesday. The bill would create a new federal crime with escalating penalties for assaulting a federal law enforcement officer, based on the severity of the injury and what kind of weapon was used. The bill would also create an aggravating factor for federal death penalty prosecutions, expand self-defense and Second Amendment rights for law enforcement officers, and opens grant funding for community policing programs. Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) is introducing similar legislation in the U.S. Senate, according to the release. “Those who protect our communities – whether it's on the beat, from the bench, behind a hose, or performing CPR – deserve extra protection from violence directed at them, including assault, intent to kill or conspiracy to kill,” said Bacon in a statement. “I am looking forward to working with Sen. Cornyn and Reps. Johnson and Stivers to get this long-overdue legislation passed into law.” 

Public Safety News

LA Fire Department Gets New Rapid Response Vehicle To Patrol Venice
Amid calls from residents to clean up Venice, the Los Angeles Fire Department is using a new rapid response vehicle to patrol the city. Residents said they do not feel safe in Venice after a series of fires started near homeless camps, including one that killed a family dog. The new vehicle will respond to medical emergencies and small fires. Wednesday night, CBSLA got an exclusive ride-along in it. It has been a week since FR-9 started its new route. It is a fully-equipped paramedic unit with a 150-gallon water tank. Because of its size, it can get to smaller fires or medical emergencies in the camps quicker than a larger engine. Residents on social media have been expressing their outrage by showing videos and pictures of tents, homes, and commercial buildings burning around Venice. “I want to reduce that anxiety and the best way to do that is to do something so I'm not going to get into a finger-pointing on anything,” said Deputy Chief Armando Hogan, LAFD commander of Operations West Bureau.

L.A. County To Offer Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine To Children Ages 12 To 15
Starting Thursday Los Angeles County will begin offering Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12 starting on Thursday, public health officials announced Wednesday. The decision to include adolescents ages 12 to 15 comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed Wednesday the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration to expand emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The CDC panel concluded that the same dose of vaccine given to adults is safe and strongly protective for those 12 to 15 years old. Those 16 and older had already been approved to get Pfizer's vaccine months earlier. All eight L.A. County vaccination sites will be open Thursday and will vaccinate children ages 12 to 17, the county's Public Health Department said Wednesday. All other vaccine providers who offer Pfizer shots may also being inoculating those in that age group. CVS started accepting vaccine appointments for those 12 and older on Wednesday. Teens must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible adult, and present a photo ID and verification of age.

Local Government News

LA City Officials Consider Making Outdoor Dining Program Permanent
The future of outdoor dining could change in the City of Los Angeles. The L.A. City Council will consider extending its Al Fresco dining program. Through the L.A. Al Fresco program launched last spring, eligible restaurants and bars can apply to expand dining areas into the street, sidewalk, and private parking lots adjacent to the applicant's business. The City may provide planters, barricades, and umbrellas for outdoor dining businesses to use in newly permitted spaces. "It doesn't bother me as long as it's managed properly," said downtown LA resident Fernando Alsorado. In order to support businesses most in need, 55% of all resources and applications approved for the program were earmarked for minority business owners located in areas that have suffered the greatest job loss due to COVID-19. Many restaurants have built outdoor structures to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. That soon may be coming to an end as the statewide health emergency is expected to be lifted on June 15.
FOX 11

About the LAPPL Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents the more than 9,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education. The LAPPL can be found on the Web at: